Friday, April 27, 2012

Day One-Ninety-Five: Now THAT'S a solution

My wife had the BEST PLAN EVER, diary. BEST EVER.

Lemme jump back in time a bit, 'cause Libby finally filled me in on a few things after we were all finished.

Months ago, during that whole fortress-or-no-fortress voting fiasco, Libby visited Queen Daena. Libby her a pie to eat, they chatted, and apparently Daena got all upset over the uproar. She was super frustrated that she was stuck outside the castle, and even though she liked the outdoors she REALLY wanted to move around.

I guess that struck a chord with Libby, 'cause then my wife promised, she PROMISED, that she would find a way to free Daena. That very night she started brainstorming ways to go about helping her friend.

Jump ahead a week. Libby couldn’t come up with any feasible ideas. She needed something to spur her creativity - and she decided, after listening to me jabber on about the library, that she should go to Robert the Librarian. Robert knows a whole lot about everything. Maybe he could help.

And he could. Robert offered to come up with a plan for freeing Queen Daena. Even more, he offered to teach Libby how to read, so she could research his books. And, for several weeks, that's just what he did. Apparently Libby studied basic books even when she was workin' away at her bench. Guess she can do her carpentry stuff without having to pay attention. Kinda scary, that.

So yeah. My fears were founded. Libby can now read. And write. She promised not to go looking through my diary, and I reeeeeeeeally hope she sticks to that promise. I'm sunk if she doesn't. Bet she'll even count the number of times I called her a douche…

Robert eventually had Libby reading some book about super-intelligent sloths, and while she was goin' through it she came across something that gave her an idea. A great idea. An idea that would be hellish to put into practice, and would force her to learn all new things, but because she'd promised Daena for a solution, Libby had no choice. So she started studying a whole NEW branch of books: anything to do with metallurgy.

And mechanics.

Technology, diary. Science. Those things I was mocking the other day.

She studied and planned for ages, only taking a break during the werewolf stuff a couple weeks ago, and eventually come up with a set of plans that she figured would work. Problem was, she didn't know whether her method would hurt the queen or not. So she went and asked for a second opinion, and that's when the king overheard, and this whole competition-that's-just-a-way-to-make-Libby-hurry-up started.

And now we're back to the present. Libby, an inventor disguised as a carpenter, has used all of her skills to create something that will allow Queen Daena to enter her castle. Not the fort, so it's not like she can join her husband in bed, but…

Hm. Maybe we should try and force this thing into his bed with him anyway…? That'd teach the bastard.

We were all waiting for Libby to show up yesterday, and most people were gettin' antsy. I did my best to keep them distracted with jokes and stupid stories, and Prince Logan ordered everyone to stay (yep, he was there too), but I could tell the crowd would start to leave if Libby didn't hurry the hell up.

That's when it appeared. Rolling over the crest of a hill, up towards the queen's tree. Damn near blocked out the sun at times, it was so huge. The rumble of its wheels shook the ground, and in moments everyone was on their feet, watching as it came closer, closer, closer…

When it screeched to a stop, Libby slid open a port and scowled at us. "Whatcha waitin' for? Start diggin', dammit!"

She gave us instructions. We dug. Very, very carefully. Took us hours, and we weren't done until the early morning. Using a giant bag and the arms of dozens of people, we lifted. Once the new owner was settled and beaming, we set off towards the castle's secret entrance. Was a damn tight fit, but Libby built her machine just small enough to get through.

The rhino was VERY surprised, gotta tell ya.

Word got around quickly, I guess, and by the time we managed to wriggle the thing up into the main thoroughfare everybody in the castle had gathered, peasant and noble alike, all watching Libby's glorious monstrosity roll to a stop at the fortress gates.

The king came out to see. He was standing on a balcony when the thing's lid popped open. The look of astonishment on his face when he saw his queen smiling back at him was priceless.

Yep. Libby built a giant, rolling transport for Daena. And it is BADASS.

From the outside, it looks kinda like a clamshell with wheels, and that's more or less what it is: a container. Libby figured the best way to avoid harming the queen would be to avoid harming her tree, so she had us dig all the way around the roots of the tree (AND THERE WERE A LOT OF ROOTS) and transplant the entire clump of dirt into the shell. An apparatus covered in lines and gears drops down in front of Queen Daena whenever the shell is closed, allowing her to pedal and steer the thing. There's even a hole in the roof to let in sunlight for the tree, and chutes for dumping in water to wet its roots.

How does this monstrosity open and close? I have no idea. Mechanics. Automated stuff. Whirling thingamabobs, diary. Shit, my wife's the inventor. Ask her.

Moving about isn’t the only thing it can do, though. The shell is the queen's transport. It needs protection. And, sure, Daena can protect herself against invaders, but Libby would prefer they not get that far. She mounted cannons along the sides of the shell, with telescopes that Daena can look through to aim, and a system of funnels along the sides of the shell that will automatically reload any fired cannons. The queen can also press a button and activate a ring of spikes along the bottom of the transport for ramming any enemies who get too close. Add in the capacity for soldiers and guards to ride along on the queen's patch of grass inside the shell and you've got a vehicle that can wage a war on its own.

Its name? The Matriarch. AWESOME.

The king loves it. He thinks it's the coolest thing he's ever seen. And, yeah, it's way too big to fit anywhere but the largest courtyards, but Jeffrey plans on using the Matriarch whenever he has to go on a trip. Daena's constantly-flailing legs will allow her to pedal wherever they want. Jeffrey's also gonna have the secret entrance expanded to make it less of a tight fit. Good thing - even with Libby's measurements, I think the Matriarch nearly brought down the roof a few times.

I don't know where Libby got the parts for the Matriarch. It musta needed an insane amount of wood and metal to build. I also don't know how she managed to put the thing together in ONE NIGHT, though that's my wife for you. If she can build a table in seconds, she can create a giant, moving contraption in less than twenty-four hours.

You shoulda seen the look of relief on Libby's face when she realized Queen Daena was okay, diary. She was so happy.

I'm so proud of Libby. Scared of what she can do, sure, but… proud.

This has been a long entry, diary, I know. But there are just two more things I should mention, two little strokes of luck that are purely thanks to Libby.

First off, we've moved! WE'RE OUTTA THAT DINKY LITTLE APARTMENT! As thanks for what Libby did, King Jeffrey gave us our own HOUSE! Granted, it's not very big, and it's across the street from where we used to live, but it's a HOUSE! More than one room! That's plain amazing, it is.

Though it's… kinda… empty, so far. We don't own much. We'll have to work on that. Now that she's gotten the knack of building mechanical stuff, I bet Libby'll be filling it with her weird inventions. She can go right ahead, she's earned it.

Second, as we were goin' to bed tonight, Libby thanked me for all my help. Said she was the brains, but without my people skills she wouldn't have been able to dig up the queen. Guess she figured nobody would want to help her 'cause she's so gruff and unlikable.

Just before we snuffed the candle and went to bed, she added one last thing that made me realize, yeah, I do love this woman:

"I read your story. The one you wrote for the king. Y'know, the… one he fed to an animal. I thought it was real good."

Maybe life ain't so bad after all.


Dragomir the Homeowner


  1. Queen Daena just got upgraded to Bossfight.

  2. That just made me do an 'Awww' in my head. I'm far too manly to do that aloud

  3. Huh...I seriously...did NOT see that'LL BUY TWELVE!

  4. Absolutely loved this entry. Really pulls at the heartstrings. And not the normal pull that comes after Dragomir is getting beat up. I give you kudos sir. Great job.

    Just wondering did Libby level up a few times during that whole process?

    1. Thanks! I went over this entry several times, just to make sure it worked out all proper. Glad it did.

      And yes, at LEAST a few times. She would totally be a sub boss during King of Zeroes' boss fight.